3. ADVentura The Royal Return Queen’s Pearls Corona
ADV & MCKAY CIGAR CO.
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera William Ventura
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Connecticut)
- Binder: Ecuador (Connecticut)
- Filler: Dominican Republic, Ecuador & Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 44
- Vitola: Lonsdale
- MSRP: $11.20 (Box of 20, $224)
- Release Date: August 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Original Score: 91
One thing I found myself writing about a lot in 2020 was whether or not companies ever considered how their cigars were actually going to be sold. Companies oftentimes come up with confusing names or backstories that just seem entirely unnecessary given that they will rarely, if ever, get brought up when a sales clerk at a cigar shop is explaining what a particular cigar is.
Then there’s ADV & McKay, the company founded by Marcel Knobel and William Ventura. The company’s entire portfolio is based on a very detailed fictional story of ADVentura and McKay, explorers who travel to the new world. Earlier lines from the company have had names like Explorer, Navigator, and La Bucanera. The latest lines are called The Royal Return, based on the gifts the explorers bring back to their king and queen. If you are going to make up lengthy and unnecessary backstories for a cigar, you should do it like ADV & McKay: all out and with the cigars to match.
The Royal Return is made up of two different blends: King’s Gold uses a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper while Queen’s Pearls uses a Connecticut shade wrapper. Amongst the sizes I’ve smoked, I think Queen’s Pearls is the better of the two blends but given the #3 ranking, that’s no slight on King’s Gold. Queen’s Pearls has nearly everything you want in a cigar: immense complexity, an easy smoking experience good construction, and even a great—though unnecessary—backstory. At just over $11 it’s not the most affordable corona on the market, but it’s one of the best. — Charlie Minato.